My daughter just got stationed 1 week ago and her ship is getting ready to go underway with deployment soon. She hasn't been there long enough to find out much information on how we will be able to communicate when she leaves. Any pointers??
She will be given a military email address. It will work part of the time, and she'll have to fit time to use the shipboard computers into her schedule. When in port she can call using a calling card, or get online if she has a laptop or tablet and can find wifi, She will also have a snail mail FPO address. Some ships do have satellite phones, like pay phones, but they can be expensive and there are often lines to use them.
Her cell phone will not be a viable option while underway, and not a good idea for use overseas, the roaming charges can run into the thousands if she is not careful. Usually they just turn off their phones, or suspend service for a while.
Thank you. Any tips on which calling cards are best? Are they availiable on the ship or does she need them before she leaves? She will have her laptop but I plan on suspending her phone while she is gone.
She would probably be better off buying the ATT calling cards they sell at the NEX or in the ship's store. A lot of times, the so called "international cards" that offer all those great deals and low rates don't seem to work very well with the phone systems they have available.
Also, as far as cell phones go, in addition to asking to have her plan put on hold, if the phone she has is her plan, in her name, she should make sure that she is getting her military discount. The Telecommunications Act of 1988 (I think it was, I don't remember the exact year, but you can search for telecommunications Act phone discount military and Gould be able to find it), but, anyway, according to this law, cell phone companies have to give a discount to certain government employees, and military is one of them. The catch is, she has to be the owner of the plan (so if she's on yours, no discount), and sometimes you have to prove you are active duty. (Our son didn't have to prove it other than his ID, but several months and a different State later, but the same company, my husband had to fill out and mail in a form to get our discount.)
This is Active Duty only, not spouses, but if the spouse or children have phones on the Sailor's plan, then the discount covers them, too.
Hi klmclean - is your daughter a new Sailor? My daughter is going to BC Feb 6 and A school in Pcola after. The deployments are the thing I dread the most - it seems like you are handling it very well! Gives me hope!